"CALTEX OIL PAKISTAN LIMITED CONTINUES TO EXPAND"
Caltex was the first oil marketing company to introduce many modern concepts in the industry in Pakistan
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
July 22 - 28, 2002
"The Energy sector provides tremendous opportunity for further growth, especially in the Oil & Gas areas and can contribute significantly towards the economy of the country".... observed Arshad Nasar, Managing Director Caltex Oil (Pakistan) Limited in an exclusive interview with
PAGE in Karachi. Arshad Nasar carries with him 35 years experience in the oil industry which, alongwith his keen interest in related developments, lends a lot of weight to his views and thoughts pertaining to further developments in the energy sector.
"Pakistan, with 140 million people and a vibrant economy is an important Market in the region. The huge natural resources and the enormous economic potential of the country provides a bright future for Pakistan", he assured with a sense of confidence. "The appreciable economic policies and decisions taken by the Government for social and economic uplift have started showing results", observed the Caltex Managing Director, while paying tributes to the economic vision of the present Government.
Replying to a question regarding the pace of foreign investment in Pakistan, Arshad Nasar came out with simple and clear thoughts on the subject. "The best way to attract investment is to demonstrate the success of the existing foreign investors in the country", he observed. He further commented that Multinational Companies could play effective role as country's ambassadors and the Government should support and help existing foreign investors more than ever before.
While appreciating the efforts being made by the present Government to attract foreign investment, Arshad Nasar said that the present Government has been quite active in promoting direct foreign investment in the petroleum sector. Citing the example of low returns in the down stream business, he said that oil companies had to operate in difficult conditions due to lower margins over the years. However, the present Government has done a lot to bring about an overall improvement in the returns by providing margin improvements etc.
Arshad, further stated that frequent shift in Government policies has been a major problem and discouraging factor for the new investment. Credit however goes to the present Government, which is trying hard to change perceptions. He was of the view that the real strength lies in the implementation of the policies. The de-regulation program of the Government will also prove to be a big incentive for attracting more investment, he said.
ACTIVITY IN ENERGY SECTOR
Giving his opinion on natural gas situation in Pakistan, Arshad Nasar said, "Pakistan has an extensive natural gas infrastructure. However, we need additional avails either through new findings or gas supply arrangement through other markets. In terms of our oil exploration Government has announced a very attractive package and hopefully we will see increased activity soon. We need to explore possibilities for deep-sea oil exploration. Our neighbours were quite successful with the findings off the Bombay coast, he observed. With the new White Oil Pipeline in operation by end of 2003, we expect to see a major improvement in oil transportation. However, the bottleneck is the port handling capacity, which needs improvement. We also need to put up more pipelines in the country to ensure efficient product distribution", Arshad Nasar said.
On the recently signed accord between Governments of Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for gas pipeline, Arshad expressed the hope that these projects when completed will bring significant economic benefits to the country.
Caltex is a part of ChevronTexaco Corporation, the third largest global energy company in terms of global oil reserves and the fourth largest in terms of global oil and natural gas production. ChevronTexaco operates in 180 countries with 53,000 employees, 8.5 billion barrels of oil reserves, 25,000 service stations, over 2.2 million barrels of refinery capacity and fuel-and-product sales of 3.5 million barrels per day.
Caltex has operated in the sub-continent since 1938 and apart from the main oil storage facility at Karachi, has 12 Depots throughout the country, which includes three inland terminals in Rawalpindi, Machike and Shikarpur.
The company's Retail network consists of 456 outlets located throughout the country as well as wide spread Distributor network catering to the demands of the Industrial, as well as the Agricultural sectors. Caltex installed its first CNG facility at its Company managed retail outlet at Islamabad. Subsequently, more CNG facilities have been added to the network in Karachi and Lahore increasing the number of CNG refueling facilities to 25 nationwide. In addition, Caltex has established five CNG conversion kit centers, located in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, respectively.
Caltex was the first oil marketing company to introduce many modern concepts in the industry in Pakistan. A hallmark of its technical advantage in the industry is its state-of-the-art computerised lubricating oil blending plant which has been set up and commissioned at the West Wharf Terminal, Karachi. Caltex was the first in modernising its retail outlets, installing electronic dispensers and implementing Customer Service Systems. Its modern testing laboratory fully equipped with the latest equipment coupled with fully documented procedures was the first ISO 9000 accredited Oil Testing Facility in the country. It is also the first oil marketing company to acquire ISO certification and adopt international Health, Environment and Safety (HES) standards. Caltex is the pioneer in establishing Convenience Stores and introducing co-branded Cards in the market.
In the refueling of International Airlines at Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, Karachi, Caltex became the first company in the country to have its refueling facility, equipment and systems accredited with ISO 9000.
Caltex took the lead in renovating, revamping and modernizing its Retail network bringing the standards in line with its International image in order to provide quality products and services to their valued customers.
The company has undertaken and sponsored numerous environmental projects and has made generous donations to the various campaigns launched over the years, living up to its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.
Caltex believes in continuous improvement, and the journey continues with passion and zeal so that "we bring about changes in accordance with the wishes of our customers. In the area of customer services, Caltex has brought about a revolution in retail marketing concept in Pakistan," he said. The improvement in service levels at retail outlets backed up with a stringent quality control supply chain has greatly benefited the customers. As an equal opportunity employer, Caltex is proud of having women employed in key management positions across different departments. Caltex offers excellent career development/growth opportunities to employees both in the country and overseas.
Regarding current and future plans of Caltex for expansion and investment in Pakistan, Arshad Nasar said, "our asset base in Pakistan has expanded quite significantly over the years. Our current investment comprises of the state of art computerized lube blending plant, refined oil storage depots and terminals, lube warehouses, tank truck fleet, mobile quality vans, lube vans and delivery trucks, lube shops, LPG bottling and storage plants, LPG bowsers, aviation refueling facility, CNG conversion centers and an extensive retail network which includes CNG operations. The future plans are also quite extensive as we have committed a significant investment amount of around Rs. 4.5 billion since January 2000 in projects related to the development and improvement of petroleum infrastructure of national importance", Arshad disclosed.
"Our biggest recent investment has been the purchase of 11 per cent equity in the White Oil Pipeline Project, which is estimated to cost around $480 million. The pipeline will play a significant role in the country's overall economy by transporting HSD on the most economical, safe and reliable basis from Port Qasim to Mehmoodkot (Multan). This pipeline is expected to be operational by 2003 end.
Caltex has recently acquired the LPG business from Sui Southern Gas Company Limited at a cost of Rs.369 million through the privatization process of the Government. Arshad Nasar said that Caltex is continuously augmenting the investment in the LPG business to upgrade the existing bottling and storage plants especially in the Health, Environment and Safety areas.
Effective July 2001, Caltex like other OMC's has switched over to unleaded gasoline marketing in the country. As far as Sulfur contents in Diesel, is concerned, the Government has brought down the limit from the current 1% to 0.5% for all imports effective July 2002. A further reduction to 0.25% is being evaluated for all diesel imports by July 2003. Caltex is fully aware of its responsibilities in the handling of major environment issues and plays a major role in addressing the need to further reduce sulfur, lead and Carbon-related pollution.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is an environment-friendly fuel and is being promoted by the present Government. Caltex was the first amongst the oil majors to establish CNG refueling facility at its retail network. Caltex is committed to the Government's policy of promoting CNG as an alternative fuel, Arshad Nasar said and added that Caltex has already invested over $1 million in setting up 25 refueling facilities while the plans to set up another 25 facilities by year-end 2002. In addition to the refueling facilities, Caltex has also set up 4 CNG conversion centers and undertaken approximately 3000 conversions.
Outlining the background of the Caltex Pakistan operations, Arshad Nasar said that Caltex commenced its operation in this part of the region in 1937 i.e. one year after Caltex was formed as part of a marketing joint venture between Chevron and Texaco. The Keamari terminal of Caltex in Karachi was constructed in 1937 and one of our presently operative retail outlet in Lahore in is a site acquired in 1939.
Arshad Nasar said "we have indeed come a long way since 1947 both in terms of scope of operations and commitment to provide quality products and services to the customers." Arshad Nasar said with a sense of achievement "today we can in all humility say that we are a successful oil marketing company operating in Pakistan with our Market share in the last three years grown from 4.9 per cent to 8 per cent." Taking pride in the collective efforts and spirit of the team he is leading, Arshad Nasar observed that "it is the dedication and commitment of each of the Caltex employees, which has made it possible to achieve these outstanding results."
Arshad Nasar carries the distinction of being the first Pakistani Country Head of Caltex Oil (Pakistan) Ltd, certainly an honour not only for him but also for all of us. Prior to his selection as the chief of Caltex Pakistan operations, no other Pakistani national was ever given this responsibility in the past. His selection to this position reflects the confidence of Caltex Corporation in Pakistani Executive leadership.
Being a Pakistani, who has served in the company for many years, becomes easy for him to interact with all concerned at all levels and can fully understand the various issues and problems related to the industry. He has helped the organization to remain focused on business objectives enabling Caltex Pakistan to achieve record results.
Arshad Nasar obtained his Masters' degree in Economics in 1966 and later got another Masters' degree in Political Science in 1967. He has attended numerous courses, workshops, seminars on Business Management, Executive Development, International Trading, Market, Sales & Operations in USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore etc.
Prior to his joining Caltex Petroleum in 1968, he qualified for Government Central Superior Service but chose to serve in the private sector.
Spanning near thirty five years, his professional career is studded with various distinctions and international exposure. He served in various positions of increasing responsibilities both within and outside Pakistan. He is the Director on the Boards of Caltex Oil (Pakistan) Ltd, Pakistan Refinery Ltd, Pak Arab Pipeline Company, Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd, Petroleum Institute of Pakistan, American Business Council.
Arshad Nasar — an eloquent speaker, is regularly at "speaking" stints with leading universities, National Defence College, Institutions of Corporate Management, as well as overseas institutions. His hobbies of Reading, Music, Cricket and Golf are reflected in the spark of his dynamic personality.